Appreciating all that makes America special

Pacific Coast Highway

Pacific Coast Highway,

The Pacific Coast Highway as it winds through Big Sur is just spectacular. Uploaded by

You probably recognize this as “the road in a thousand new car commercials.” The Pacific Coast Highway features beautiful winding roads that hug the rugged Pacific coastline, sometimes with rather steep drop-offs that advise strongly against drinking (or texting) and driving.

Pacific Coast Highway,

Uploaded by

The designation “Pacific Coast Highway” actually comes and goes along California Route 1 all the way from Orange County to San Francisco. The section we’re in love with is also called the Big Sur Coast Highway and the San Luis Obispo North Coast Byway. Driving it takes about five hours, but you’ll want to devote more time because of the lovely towns and sights along the way. There’s Monterey, with its Fisherman’s Wharf and Cannery Row. There’s the oh-so-artsy (but irresistible) town of Carmel-by-the-Sea. There’s Big Sur, where mountains dive off cliffs into the sea. Bixby Bridge (you’ve got to stop and take a picture) and Hearst Castle at San Simeon also shouldn’t be missed.

All in all, it’s 123 miles of wow. It’s officially designated as an All-American Road. So it’s no wonder we had to include it in this list of Great American Things.

It's easy to share with friends.